Loose Id, $6.99, ISBN 978-1-59632-449-7
Contemporary Romance, 2007
Ellie Campbell’s favorite boyfriend is currently battery-operated and none of her ex-boyfriends had succeeded in giving her the big O in bed. Will you be shocked to learn that our heroine is trying to write a self-help book called The Average Girl’s Guide to Getting Laid? In a kind of serendipity that can only be engineered by romance authors, she happens to wondering what to put in chapter one of her book when a guy joins her at her table in the deli where she’s working and is more than happy to be her guinea pig if she wants to do any research. But what is the deal with Marius Asher anyway?
The story is simple: boy meets girl, they sleep together, they fall in love. Written in a style more reminiscent of chick-lit rather than a more sober kind of women’s fiction, this story offers more point-of-view from Ellie rather than Ash, which means Ash isn’t as well developed a character as Ellie and I probably know more about Ellie than I would have liked.
You see, I find this story often has Ellie making the whole issue of dating, sex, and love more complicated than she probably should. The constant emphasis on Ellie’s “average”-ness, which is a bit of a cheat since she’s not average as much as being brainwashed by an ex into having all kinds of insecurities, causes this book to be bogged down by a rather joyless story line about Ellie having to overcome these insecurities. Her constant “No, really, I’m average! I am!” protests get old fast. Ellie often protests too hard, I find. Won’t it be easier and nicer to just go with the flow instead of psychoanalyzing every little thing in life?
But that’s just me, of course, and if you have read my reviews of some chick-lit books on this website, you will know that I usually do not have the patience to humor a chick-lit heroine’s often interminable self-deprecatory mood swings. The Average Girl’s Guide to Getting Laid is a chick-lit novel, only with more explicit love scenes than a typical chick-lit novel, so it’s to be expected that the heroine in this book will make me roll up my eyes. In much simpler terms, this one is not my cup of tea but I can easily imagine that other people will enjoy this one much more than me. What do I know, eh? I only like Bridget Jones when she has a sock stuffed down her throat.